Spring is here and cats love frolicking in the warm weather just as much as their human companions. These signs will let you know they have spring fever.
Spring fever is the term used to describe the physical and psychological symptoms that result from the change from winter to spring. Although the change of season can affect us all this is especially the case with cats.
The reason why cats are particularly affected is because they have a much better sense of smell than humans. This means that when spring arrives cats are flooded with new sensory input, especially scents.
Here are seven signs that your cat is experiencing spring fever and some advice in how to minimise the problems that arise from it.
1. The early bird
Your cat will start getting up earlier. This can often also mean they will want to play immediately, so be prepared to be awoken by your cat. What your cat is doing is responding to the increased sunlight.
2. Sun worshipper
Your cat will seek to enjoy the increased sunlight. This can mean your cat will look to sunbathe in the sun, or look out of the window for long periods of time.
3. Sex drive
Your cat will also have a newfound desire for the opposite sex. If your cat is female it is very common during this time of year for male cats to start stalking your yard. It is therefore advised if you have not sprayed or neutered your cat yet, that you do it now.
The increased sunlight will also mean that your cat will be extra motivated to go outside. It is therefore advised that you take extra caution in regards to your windows and doors, as cats have a tendency to jump or fall through unscreened windows. Be sure to install snug and sturdy screens in your window in order to avoid this problem.
5. Growing up
Your cat will also often experience a growth spurt during this time of year.
It is also often common for your cat to experience a sudden manic burst of energy during spring. This can affect older cats too.
This newfound energy can mean your cat will have speed dashes on walls and chase lights around. It can also result in your cat having an increased desire to use its claws, which can result in your cat bringing gifts home, such as mice or rats that it catches.
In order to avoid your cat’s new energy becoming too much of a problem, it is recommended you keep your cat exercised and supplied with extra food, as spring cranks up a cat’s metabolism. By helping your cat complete its cycle of needs it can help keep your cat happy and relaxed between bursts of activity.
Many pet parents welcome the breezy days of spring by opening their windows. Unfortunately, they also unknowingly put their pets at risk – especially cats, who are apt to jump or fall through unscreened windows. Be sure to install snug and sturdy screens in all of your windows.
Do dogs get Spring fever?
The answer is yes! For dogs and other mammals the reason why they are affected by the change of season lies in a tiny clump of cells called the suprachiasmatic-located in the brains centre. These clusters of neurons are the springs that drive mammalian biological clocks. The cells are attached to the eyes and they respond to the amount of light that your dog can see. When it is dark they release the sleep inducing hormone melatonin. More light, on the other hand, reduces the amount of melatonin.
All the new smells that emerge with spring as flowers start to blossom can mean your dog is more likely to be distracted when taking them for a walk. This may mean your dog will stop for long pauses in order to properly smell all the new flowers that have started to blossom. You can avoid this problem by taking extra treats with you when you walk your dog, as well as your favourite dog’s toy. This will help get your dog back on track when they get distracted by all the new smells.
If your dog is already one that is inclined to react to external noises and movements when in its home, you may notice an increase during spring. Your dog is likely to increase this kind of behaviour because with the warmer weather, there will be more people running, biking and playing outside. You can stop this causing to much of a problem by purchasing a new toy for your dog during this period, as this will hopefully distract from taking too much notice what’s going on outside.
A further difference you may see in your dog is an increased sex drive. Spring can have this effect on humans too as conception rates peak in spring. While, dogs do not have specific mating periods. Studies suggest that the frequency increases between February and May. If this behaviour becomes too much of a problem then it is recommended that you get your dog sprayed or Neute as this can help curb this behaviour.
Your dog’s level of melatonin will give them increased energy during spring. This can mean if your dog is kept inside for too long they become agitated and restless, especially when they see or hear other dogs playing outside. In order to avoid this restlessness becoming too much of a problem you should increase your dog’s level of aerobic activity. This can include longer walks or running with your dog as this increased activity will help burn of some of the newfound energy.
Change in behaviour / attitude
You may also notice in spring comes a change in attitude and behaviour in your dog. This may involve your dog becoming more pushy and cocky towards authoritative figures. It can also mean that your dog may not respond as well when being called, because of the increased play mates outside and this change in attitude. This may mean you need to remind your dog of the rules and reinforce the training that you may have done with them.
(Article source: Jordan Creed)